Finding a comfortable sleeping position is another important concern during pregnancy. You may be unsure of the right sleeping position and might be taking advice from your doctor, friends, or family. Well, it is completely understandable! You need to have a good quality sleep for so many reasons.
With a growing bump and your battle against interrupted sleep, here are some guidelines that you should know about. Since, sleep is important for a healthy pregnancy, let’s look into the possible dangers of sleeping on your back. Not to brag, but this guide will take you through all the possible sleeping positions. So, mother-to-be, let’s get into the details of how these positions can benefit you in all the trimesters of pregnancy.
Pink Orchid is here with a set of recommendations. It’s our pleasure to guide you through what to avoid during pregnancy. So, if you think lack of sleep is getting onto your nerves, read along. However, your body takes some time to adapt to the changes of pregnancy. Hence, try not to stress and educate yourself about these positions.
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Sleeping positions during pregnancy - Back vs Stomach vs Sideways
Let’s discuss the potential sleeping positions you can opt for and stay away from during pregnancy. Ultimately, it surely depends on your level of comfort to choose a position for you. Even so, we are here with the best set of recommendations to help you out.
Sleeping on your back
Sleeping on your back during the first trimester of pregnancy is safe. However, women should avoid this sleeping position during the second and third trimesters. The reason is simple. As your baby grows and with the weight of your growing uterus, the pressure rests on your back, pelvis, and vena cava. This vein is also responsible for transporting blood from your lower body back to your heart.
These reflex changes in your body can stimulate backaches and hinder your digestive system. Not only this, but it can also lead to low blood pressure and decreased blood circulation. So, it is best to avoid sleeping in this position after the 16th week of your pregnancy.
Sleeping on your stomach
Are you unsure about sleeping on your stomach during pregnancy? Let’s get you the answer to this. As it is completely normal that you might like sleeping on your stomach. However, it is only possible until the 16th or 18th week of pregnancy.
With a growing baby bump and breasts, it is almost impossible to sleep on the stomach. This may also cause discomfort. But other than this, there are no other dangers that you should worry about. You must opt for a donut-shaped pillow to support the bump.
As experts suggest, the ideal position for you and your baby would be sleeping sideways, particularly - on the left side. It not only facilitates a regulated blood flow but also lays off pressure from your kidneys and liver. This means this practice facilitates the effective functioning of your kidneys and helps your body to get rid of the waste elements. As a cherry on top, it lessens swelling in your feet, ankles, and hands.
The best sleeping position during pregnancy!
Now that we all agree that good quality sleep is very important for your immune system and a healthy pregnancy indeed, let’s move forward. Now, let's discuss the most ideal and comforting sleeping position.
It would be perfectly alright to sleep on your left side as you move forward from the first trimester. This position ensures maximum blood flow in your body and helps your kidneys to function better. You must definitely not stick to any position that’s not comfortable for you. And do not worry if you turn to another side when you wake up the next day.
You can also monitor how many hours you sleep because getting the right amount of sleep is crucial. Lack of sleep has is often linked to the fatigue you may experience throughout the day. It may also cause gestational hypertension, longer labor hours, insomnia, and low birth weight.
Sleeping on the right side vs sleeping on the left side
As it is ideally advisable by medical practitioners to sleep on your left side. The reason being it improves the blood circulation in your body and keeps the kidneys functioning. However, there’s also no doubt about the fact that sleeping on the right side is equally safe for you. It is more about your level of comfort and relaxation.
When it comes to inferior vena cava (IVC), there may be a minute possibility of compression that can disrupt the blood flow. The main part is you need not stress if you accidentally find yourself on your back or another side for a shorter period. As likely as it would not cause any harm to your child.
What positions should be avoided during pregnancy?
A healthy and proper body posture is very crucial to maintain during pregnancy. It also helps you to overcome various challenges that you face during the voyage of motherhood. As a result, you may feel relaxed. Whereas, prenatal massage is also a source of relaxation and a means of good quality sleep. You must train your body to respond in certain positions that do not exert pressure on your back or other parts of your body. So, let’s discuss some of the positions that you should avoid during pregnancy.
Avoid sleeping or lying down on your stomach after the 18th week of pregnancy. It reduces the blood flow and ads pressure on the fetus.
Avoid sleeping or lying down on your back during the second and third trimester of pregnancy. It increases the pressure on the inferior vena cava.
Avoid twiddling your body while lying sideways and keep your body in check.
Avoid drawing your knees towards your upper body while lying on your side.
Avoid standing up swiftly from a lying position. The ideal method would be to uplift your body with the support of your arms, then turn your legs onto the bed’s side and stand up steadily.
Avoid soft mattresses and opt for a mattress that is firm inbuilt and that doesn’t sag.
Avoid standing up for prolonged periods.
Avoid twisting your knees and keep them straight. Do not bar or lock them but maintain the position.
Avoid tilting your pelvis in a forward or backward position. Keep them tucked. Draw your stomach in and up while standing.
Avoid sitting in the middle of the chair. Sit at the end of it so that your body is in line and you have back support to roll over. Take the assistance of pregnancy pillows
Avoid sitting for long hours. Take a walk every hour or 30 minutes.
Avoid exerting pressure on one side of the body via sitting. Your bodyweight should lie on both hips proportionately.
If you’re sitting down on a rolling chair, avoid moving at your waist. It is advisable to move your entire body. Be cautious when you sit on one of these chairs.
Avoid sitting on a chair that is not near your working table. Make necessary adjustments and bring your chair closer. There should be an adequate armrest attached to your chair. That will not only ensure comfort to your shoulders but you shall have your back straight.
When should you stop sleeping on your stomach?
As an informed mother-to-be, you should know when to stop sleeping on your stomach. This position can only be comfortable until the 16th or 18th week of pregnancy. Your baby bump usually appears during the second trimester. However, at this point, sleeping on your stomach shall cause discomfort. As you reach the third trimester, you would not choose this position because of the large baby bump. It is also for safety reasons that you need to take a turn on your sideways.
Can you hurt your baby by sleeping on the right side?
As per the doctors’ recommendations and experts’ advice, you should sleep on your side. Ideally, the position should be on your left but it doesn’t cross any boundaries, even if you sleep on your right. That means it is the safest practice both for you and your baby. With the help of pregnancy pillows, you can support your growing belly and enfold your body around them comfortably.
What happens if you sleep on your back while pregnant?
Laying on your back is another sleeping position one opts for in pregnancy. If you accidentally find yourself on your back in the morning, don’t worry about it. If this is for a short period, it won’t cause any harm to your child. You must put on a pregnancy pillow under your back for safety purposes. However, you should definitely avoid this during the second and third trimesters. There are possible unlooked-for dangers that you might experience because of this practice.
The real concern is while you lie on your belly, the weight of your uterus can compress the inferior vena cava. That means you would experience dizziness, nausea, and disturbance in the blood flow. Nevertheless, if you’re used to this position, it’s time that you adopt a new sleeping position right away. Let’s get into the details of the dangers of back sleeping while pregnant.
Backache - With a growing belly and uterus, sleeping on your back can put pressure on your back and pelvis. This can trigger a backache.
Low blood pressure and fewer nutrients - Inferior vena cava is responsible for carrying blood amid your heart and lower body. However, the weight of your uterus can compress the vein disrupting the blood flow. This will also lead to low blood pressure and few nutrients in your body.
Digestive problems - You might experience digestive problems if you continue to lay on your back.
Breathing difficulties - You may also experience breathing difficulties. You may snore more than usual in this position. The path of your breathing should not be obstructed but kept open, and clear.
Hemorrhoids - Hemorrhoids during pregnancy are usually common during the third trimester. It is a condition of swollen veins in the anus and rectum. Lying or sleeping on your back can put a lot of pressure on your pelvic organs. This will make you uncomfortable and will make the pain worse.
Acid reflux - Pregnant women may experience gastrointestinal reflux disease (GRED). According to research, it also leads to pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting. This results from lying down on your back for prolonged periods which provides a free pass for the movement of the acid to the oesophagus.
5 Tips for sleeping comfortably during pregnancy
Lack of sleep is critical for both mother and baby. To overcome this, here’s the list of 5 Tips you can opt to strategically fight this problem and get multiple nights of good quality sleep. It is for optimal blood circulation and the safety of you and your baby. So, let’s get going.
You must use pregnancy pillows for support and right body posture. So, put a pillow under your back and between your legs.
Fix your schedule and improve your sleeping cycle by getting down and getting up at the same time. Exercise daily.
Get yourself a prenatal massage and get rid of the stress, anxiety, and headaches.
Eat small nutritious meals and avoid eating before 3-4 hours of bedtime.
Get yourself a memory foam mattress or a hybrid mattress to reduce discomfort. Subsequently, you can always use extra pillows to support your body.
Finding the right sleeping position during pregnancy is no doubt difficult and grueling. However, you must not stress over it! These 5 Tips will ensure that you sleep well throughout the night. With the right precautions and care, you can surely acknowledge this voyage of motherhood. So, sit back and relax! Register for prenatal massage now and bid adieu to all the pain!